With stunning colorful and crystalline appearance, it is easy to assume that Himalayan salt baths are a mere aesthetic addition to your bath space. However, these pink, red and off white crystals are a rich source of 84 of the 92 naturally occurring minerals and offer a range of benefits, from therapeutic to curative. Apart from soothing muscles wrought tight by the day’s work, Himalayan bath salts make for a superlative skin care product that is potent enough to keep most dermatological ailments at bay.
In fact, the health benefits of Himalayan salt baths go well beyond the cosmetic as the salt crystals heal the skin and repeal microorganisms that cause infection. The pink salt infuses the skin cells with energy and vital nutrients while pulling out the toxins that have been accumulated due to constant exposure to pollutants and dietary excesses.
A closely guarded secret of some of the most famous and expensive spas in the world, Himalayan bath salts have long been heralded as the ultimate feel good and health restorative product. Fortunately, now it is possible to bring home the goodness of a spa treatment at a fraction of the cost. If you have never had this type of treatment done, here is a look at how Himalayan salt baths work.
Why use pink salt?
Unlike regular free flowing table salt which is laced with chemicals such as anti caking and bleaching agents and artificially derived iodine, these pink salt crystals are a rich source of essential nutrients such as calcium, bromide, sulfur, iodine, potassium, magnesium, iron and more which are readily absorbed by the skin cells. These minerals are in their natural form, so you do not have to worry about the harmful effects of chemical derivatives on your skin.
In fact, among the many health benefits of Himalayan salt baths is their ability to heal dry skin, enhance circulation, increase the retention of moisture in the skin cells and promote cellular regeneration. Salt water brings down inflammation in the joints and tendons and soothes and relaxes the muscles, alleviating pain which is a result of arthritis and other joint ailments as well as physical exertion.
How to use Himalayan bath salts?
Add a few handfuls of salt to the bath tub and ensure that the water is not too hot as the salt crystals maintain the temperature for longer and you may overheat your body. Ideally, you should go for 37 degree Celsius. You could also add a few drops of essential oil to the bath for a soothing aroma. Enjoy a leisurely soak in the water as your skin cells are infused with the minerals and energy accumulated over millions of years and the toxins are pulled out of the body.
Before you jump into your detox bath, it would be best to shower and wash yourself. Also, while you are bathing, you will sweat profusely, so keep yourself hydrated by sipping on some water or juice. If you are taking a hot bath, use ice cold water to balance the temperature. While some people choose to take a shower after the detox bath as well, you could simply climb out of the shower and let the mineral rich water dry on your skin; this way your cells get more time to soak in the nutrients.
Therapeutic benefits of using Himalayan bath salts
A mineral soak like no other: About 15 minutes in bath water that contains pink salt is a fabulous way to unwind and relax after a taxing day. The nutrients present in ionic state are quickly absorbed by the dermal and epidermal cells. Also, through the process of osmosis, the toxins accumulated in the body are pulled out into the bath water.
Perfect to get rid of soreness: If you have done too much heavy lifting at the gym or have spent too many hours on your feet at the office, use Himalayan pink salt to deal with muscle cramping and soreness. The minerals that get absorbed through the cells not only offer temporary relief but also aid in healing damaged muscle tissue while fortifying bones, the connective tissue and the skin.
The ideal detox treatment: Himalayan pink salt crystals are potent detoxifiers; the ionic solution reaches deep into the skin cells, right up to the adipose tissue and pulls out the toxins stored in there. After about half an hour, you will emerge out of the bath water, energized and relaxed. In fact, for most people the calming effect is so significant that they quickly fall asleep after a Himalayan salt bath. So, this therapy also works well for people who are battling insomnia.
Doesn’t a regular bath do the exact same thing?
No, it does not! If anything, bathing twice a day can deplete your cells of hydration, leaving you with flaky skin. In contrast, Himalayan bath salt penetrates the upper, callused skin layer and binds with water, forming a protective layer on the skin which prevents the loss of moisture. So, your skin does not dry out; au contraire, it gets replenished. In addition, as you soak in the warm water, you will also breathe in the salt which will clear and heal your respiratory tract.
Himalayan salt baths for skin care
Softer skin: The minerals found in Himalayan bath salts are powerful antioxidants that help to alleviate free radical damage and regulate the production of natural skin oil. The replenishing effect of these essential nutrients results in softer and smoother skin.
Helps to get rid of infections: Himalayan bath salts contain a significant amount of zinc and sulfur which help to kill infection causing microorganisms. So, adding pink salt to your bath water is a great way to heal dermatological infections, skin wounds and lesions.
A natural antihistamine: The magnesium found in Himalayan salt crystals is a potent stress buster. Also, the mineral is known for its natural anti histamine properties. So, if you suffer from recurrent skin allergies, this is the best way to heal your skin without damaging it.
Aids in reducing the appearance of cellulite: Hormonal imbalance, dietary excesses and bad life style choices like smoking are often blamed for the bumpy appearance of cellulite. Because the ionic minerals in Himalayan salt baths seep right up to the layer of fat below the skin, they help in drawing out the toxins, balancing hormonal activity in the body and causing movement in the fat cells which helps to reduce the dimpled look of cellulite.
Provides nutrition to the dermal layers: Zinc, selenium, potassium, magnesium and copper are essential for skin health. So, a soak in water that is saturated with Himalayan bath salts offers the necessary nutrition to the dermal cells.
Reduces signs of aging: The minerals in Himalayan bath salt, including copper, silica and others enhance skin elasticity and flexibility which aids in reducing wrinkles and other signs of ageing.
Soothes irritated skin: Zinc is a powerful antioxidant that is often used in dermatological preparations meant to soothe and heal damaged skin. Since Himalayan bath salts hold this trace mineral in its most natural and beneficial form, they can work wonders on irritated and inflamed skin.
Balances skin pH: Pink salt is also an effective treatment for balancing the pH level of the skin.
You can using natural pink Himalayan salt crystals for bathing to combat chronic skin ailments
Acne: A brine face wash works just as well as harsh chemical products on acne but it does not dry out the skin. In fact, consistent use can not only help to prevent acne flare ups but also remove the infection from existing pimples and help in drying them while reducing the scars associated with skin breakouts. The sulfur found in Himalayan bath salts acts as a powerful antibacterial compound while zinc helps in cellular regeneration and soothes inflammation.
Psoriasis: Psoriasis is an auto immune condition which results in the development of skin sores, pustules and plaque. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the malady in allopathic medicine. However, Himalayan salt baths work on multiple fronts when treating the ailment. The mineral salt crystals regulate the response of the immune system, helping to prevent skin inflammation while the sulfur and zinc help to deal with the itching and the formation of pustules.
Also, the minerals in the bath salts help to dissolve skin plaque and bring about a speedy recovery by promoting cellular regeneration. Since oxidative stress is often considered a trigger for psoriasis, Himalayan bath salts also tackle this issue with their potent anti oxidant properties that help to reduce free radical damage on the skin cells.
Eczema: This is another skin disorder characterized by inflammation, itching and blisters that begin to ooze. Also a condition that is linked to immune dysfunction, pink salt from the Himalayas acts in the same way on Eczema as it does on psoriasis. In fact, the skin lesions caused due to scratching get disinfected along with the blisters and the wounds caused by them. Sulfur and zinc also aid in the quick healing of the damaged skin.
Skin Allergies: Since the essential minerals in Himalayan pink salt reduce IgE levels in the body, they prevent the immune system from over reacting to allergy triggers.
Works well on insect bites and blisters: Insect bites lead to intense itching and the sulfur in Himalayan salt baths helps to relieve the itch. Moreover, the minerals neutralize any toxic venom that has been deposited in the upper layers of the skin.
Foot Fungus: The anti fungal properties of Himalayan salt baths can be put to good use by soaking feet in brine. Not only do the minerals help to kill fungal spores but also they get rapidly absorbed into the dry skin where they promote healing and the removal of dead cells.
Preventing varicose veins and spider veins on your legs and thighs: Varicose veins are often found to be a result of circulatory problems. Since Himalayan salt baths help to improve circulation and alleviate inflammation, these pink crystals are an effective treatment to reduce the appearance of varicose veins. Also, the calcium rich salt prevents the thinning of skin which is one of the causes for the appearance of spider veins.
Himalayan salt baths also work on tender joints!
Joint pain can be caused due to a range of conditions; from something as simple as a sprain or over exertion to serious and chronic ailments like rheumatism, arthritis, osteoarthritis and tendinitis that alter the bone and ligament structure of the joints. A deficiency of vital nutrients, particularly calcium is often at the root of such disorders. Because with Himalayan salt baths, you are supplying calcium to your body through skin absorption, this form of therapy can help to nip skeletal issues in the bud.
Moreover, the minerals help to reduce inflammation and prevent damage while promoting recovery. Also, copper and selenium, two of the 84 trace minerals found in Himalayan bath salts enhance joint mobility and flexibility, reduce joint stiffness, alleviate pain and inflammation and support healthy joints. Boron, manganese and zinc also play crucial roles in muscular and skeletal health. All of these vital nutrients are found in their ionic form in Himalayan bath salts.
Health benefits of Himalayan salt baths go beyond the mere physical!
A relaxing soak in a warm bath that has been energized through the addition of pink salt also aids in promoting mental and spiritual balance. It relieves stress, aids in reducing depression and anxiety and regulates sleep. The composition of Himalayan salt is so potent at the biophysical level that it creates a constant rhythmic molecular movement. Organ functions resonate with this rhythm and activate the natural healing force in the body.
The ionic makeup of Himalayan salt baths is no different from that of amniotic fluid which is a testament to just how healthy and nourishing it is. In addition to this, the negatively charged ions found in water that has been saturated with pink bath salt leads to powerful biochemical reactions in the body and causes the secretion of serotonin. This is a brain chemical that helps to relieve stress and depression and boosts energy.
Himalayan salt baths bring about rapid detoxification and this can cause some people to feel lightheaded and and even lead to fainting in some, if too much time is spent in the bath or if the water is too hot. If you begin to feel dizzy, use a wash cloth soaked in cold water on your head. Remember that thirty minutes spent in Himalayan salt bath is akin to 3 days of fasting, so when you get out of the tub, climb out slowly.
Also, if you have a medical condition, particularly hyper tension, it would be best to consult with your doctor before taking Himalayan salt baths. The pink salt crystals do contain sodium, albeit in lower quantities than table salt. Since the skin cells will absorb this sodium, it would be best to ask your physician if this form of therapy would be suitable for you.